Category Archives: Church and Religion

Church and Religion: encouragement, inspiration, activities, etc

Forgive You and Me

Forgive You and Me

If there is one thing that is hard to do, that is forgiving. Not only others, but ourselves. As I sat in church a week ago, I started taking notes. What resulted in this post:

We have to forgive so that we can be forgiven. But first, we have to see ourselves as worthy of being forgiven. It we can’t do that then our salvation is at stake. Not because we can’t forgive others, but because we can’t forgive ourselves. In order to do good, we have to feel like we are worthy of what we are striving for.

Forgive You and Me - A Guide To Forgiving by Life as a Convert

Comfort and Encourage Yourself

Comfort yourself how you would comfort another. Love yourself. Be your own support. Encourage yourself. If you can’t do these things for yourself, you can’t do them for others.

Value Yourself

You are meaningful. Your life has meaning. Heavenly Father has already lost 1/3 of his children. Don’t let him lose you too.

Progress not Perfection

You will fall short. You will mess up. You will be mad at yourself. Your spouse and even kids will be mad at you. Don’t give up.

Perfection is where we are going. It isn’t where we are or who we are.

Be Joyful

God didn’t create us to be sad and unforgiven. God created us so that we can be joyful.

Progession doesn’t come from being complacent or stagnant. It comes from finding joy in the Gospel, finding truth and peace in the words written through inspiration.

You are a child of God. You have a purpose. Live like it. Forgive yourself so that you can forgive others and others can forgive you. We find joy through forgiving.

Additional Study on Forgiveness:

D&C 64:10

D&C 81:1

Luke 17:3

Num 14:18

Matt 5:43-45

LDS Temples Bucket List – Temples I’d Love To See

LDS Temples Bucket List – Temples I’d Love To See

You know what’s one of the best things about being Mormon?

The LDS Temples!

Yes.. That glorious place of unwavering peaceful and loving feelings. The place where families go to be together forever.

Temple Bucket List - LDS Salt Lake City Temple by Heather Thomas

I was beyond excited when I got to go to the Memphis Temple and receive my own endowments earlier this year. Since then, I’ve been thinking about other temples I’d love to visit. Here are a few that have made my LDS Temples Bucket List

Kirtland

Kirtland was the first temple built in this dispensation and visited by God and his angels. Can you imagine being in a place where the rushing sound of angels was so intense it felt like a mighty wind?

LDS Kirtland Temple by Alecia Frank

LDS Kirtland Temple by Alecia Frank

Being in a place with such a powerful history would be incredible

Nauvoo

Burned to the ground within 4 years of it’s dedication and then ravished by a tornado, the Nauvoo temple is the next one on my LDS Temples Bucket List. The Nauvoo temple seems to have a history opposite of the Kirtland temple. Whereas everything good visited the Kirtland temple, it seems that much bad came to the Nauvoo temple. Fire, sacrifice, and the loss of Joseph Smith all happened during a short time surrounding the history of this temple.

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Grace Wilson Powell

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Grace Wilson Powell

But, despite that, the Nauvoo temple has since been rebuilt and thousands of people have been blessed because of the ordinances completed inside this beautiful place.

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

Salt Lake

The biggest temple in the world is the Salt Lake Temple. It took 40 years to build. That is dedication. Besides that, isn’t it just gorgeous?

LDS Salt Lake Temple by Angela Wright-Stevens

LDS Salt Lake Temple by Angela Wright-Stevens

If there was one time of the year I’d want to go here it would be every time. I’ve heard wonderful stories about the Temple Square, of which the Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece.

LDS Salt Lake City Temple by Heather Thomas

LDS Salt Lake City Temple by Heather Thomas

Simply beautiful, right?

Memphis

I know, I know… I’ve already been there.. But you guys, I have to get back again.

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

Did I mention that I literally passed out during my own endowment session inside the temple? I have a slight history of fainting, but did not expect it to happen in the temple of all places.

LDS Memphis Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

LDS Memphis Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

I cried after it happened. For one, I was embarrassed, and for two, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish my session. Thankfully, I was able to, and that bad moment is just a memory.

Unfortunately the Memphis Temple is closed for renovations and won’t be open until around 2019. In the meantime, I am focusing on keeping myself temple worthy and doing what I can to help others be able to get to this same place.

Have you visited any of these temples?
Which one of these temples would you like to visit? 

In case you missed my other recent Temple Posts:

Tithing My Way To The Temple
I Love To See The Memphis Temple

(I’m so grateful to all of the ladies who offered up their pictures of the temples you see here. All photos in this post have been used with permission.)

Magnify Your Calling (Step One)

Magnify Your Calling (Step One)

I’m not sure why, but it seems to be a trend among members to be surprised when they are called to something new. I’ve often heard members say they don’t feel like they can offer much to their calling. Yet, these same people do their calling, and do it wonderfully. It’s no secret that God equips us to handle our callings.

My calling is in Primary. I am one of the Activity Day Girls leaders. It’s currently my only calling (I sub teach when asked) Call me selfish, but I am happy to have a single calling. I have even found myself complaining about having it. It’s not that I don’t like it, I enjoy doing the activities with the girls, but planning them and preparing for them is sometimes stressful.

Magnify Your Calling - Primary Activity Day Girls

By God’s grace I have persevered, and the girls amaze me with how positive they are in remembering their favorite activities. It’s encouraging to know that they are enjoying being a part of my class.

If you were recently called to a primary position and feel overwhelmed, here are some of my tips to Magnify Your Calling when you are first called.

Ask Somebody Who Has Done It

Bonus points if it is the person who was just released. When I was called to Activity Day Girls, I didn’t even know it existed.  My daughter wasn’t quite old enough, but she came along with me to our first meeting and we quickly learned all about it from my co-leader at that time. I have found that in other callings, the first thing I do to prepare is ask how it is currently being done. Those who are currently serving in the calling or who have previously served can give some incredible advice.

Photo by Aduke Schulist

Read the Manual

Without the Faith in God manual, I would be lost! This goes for the other Primary manuals as well. While the Faith in God manual doesn’t give as much details as other manuals, the information in there is golden. Knowing what to teach makes the how part easier. The church even has a manual to help prepare you as a teacher.

Pray

Okay, maybe this should have been the first one, but pray! Not just when you accept that calling, but every time you prepare a lesson. Pray for the children you are serving. And pray for yourself.

Magnify Your Calling photo by Aduke Schulist

Utilize Pinterest, Blogs, Etc

Where would Primary be without Sugardoodle? Using resources like this as well as pinterest make planning a breeze. I gotta admit, I prefer blogs or just searching the web instead of pinterest because it is far too easy to get overwhelmed with ideas there.

Facebook Groups

There are some great Facebook groups to help in your calling. These groups are full of members who have held or currently hold the calling. Sharing Time leaders, Primary Choristers, and even Primary Teachers can glean knowledge from others in these groups.

Magnify Your Calling - Primary Leaders & Activity Day Girls

Do you have a calling at church?
How do you magnify your calling?

I Love To See The Memphis Temple

I Love To See The Memphis Temple

Going to the temple is a big deal for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the culmination of years spent hearing about the temple, studying it, and preparing ourselves to enter it.

Having been a member since 2008, my only experience in the Memphis Temple was to perform baptisms.

Life as a Convert and son in front of Memphis Temple sign

Life as a Convert and son, Losh, in front of Memphis Temple sign on a recent trip to do baptisms.

While the experience was good, it left me wanting more, not to mention I felt out of place being one of the only un-endowed adults present (endowed members are those who have previously been through the temple).

The particular temple assigned to our church is the Memphis Temple, located in Memphis, Tennessee, about 2.5 hours away. The Memphis Temple just so happens to be closing for remodeling at the end of the month. With that in mind, I have felt an increasing desire to get there before it closed.

There wasn’t one specific reason I wanted to go, but a few stuck out in my mind more than others. Since I joined the church, I have wanted to go. To me, it felt like I wasn’t a complete member until I went through the temple. So here are a few reasons why I made going to the temple a priority.

Curiosity

Having been in the church for many years, and being taught so many things about what goes on in the temple, but not having experienced it for myself left me curious. I wanted to be in the know. I wanted to experience the temple for myself. And I wanted to know just what happened in that Holy place anyway?

The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation.” LDS.org

Memphis Temple

Memphis Temple

Garments

Garments are to Mormons what the Hijab is to a Muslim. It is an outer expression of an inner commitment. At one time, I showed my commitment with head covering. Then I became somewhat of the world and wanted to express myself with my hair styles. I quit covering (for that and many other reasons) and though I occasionally wore covers, the experience just wasn’t the same. There is something magical about putting on a piece of fabric every single day knowing that it symbolizes your commitment to your Heavenly Father and I wanted to experience that with the garments.

Wearing the temple garment has deep symbolic significance. It represents a continuing commitment. Just as the Savior exemplified the need to endure to the end, we wear the garment faithfully as part of the enduring armor of God. Thus we demonstrate our faith in Him and in His eternal covenants with us.” – LDS.org

Blessings

We are promised blessings when we follow Heavenly Father’s commandments. Some of these blessings are contingent upon covenants we make and our obedience to those covenants. A few blessings that come to mind are those from tithing, church attendance, serving others, and fulfilling our callings. When we do each of these things, we are blessed.  Going through the temple awards us extra blessings. Who am I to say no to extra blessings?!

Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings.” – President Thomas S. Monson

To Feel The Spirit

I’ve always had a unique relationship with and a strong testimony of the Holy Spirit. I’ve felt it strongly, and often and never questioned if it existed or where it came from. To know that I could feel that, but much stronger at the temple was very appealing to me… so I did it.. I became worthy and got my temple recommend which was my ticket into the Memphis Temple.

My First Impressions

I recently fulfilled my desire to participate in the sacred ordinances within the Memphis Temple. To say it was an experience I will never forget is an understatement. It was wonderful. I am so grateful that I was able to get over myself and a few of my selfish habits in order to enter the temple as a worthy member and receive my endowments.

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

If you are preparing to enter the temple for the first time I encourage you to participate in the Temple Prep class provided by the church as well as read the following articles:

Temples Reflect the Savior’s Love for Us
Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings
Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple
Turn toward the Temple

May God bless you as you progress in your journey to the temple and all that it has to offer.